Believe it or not, there was actually a time when 5 ¼ inch floppy disks were used as a form of currency. Okay, it may have only been used in the limited economy of my high-school's cafeteria, but it was a currency, none-the-less.
Back in the mid-eighties, floppy disks were actually pretty expensive things to buy; at least for a fifteen year old with no steady income. They were the type of thing you asked for as a birthday or Christmas present. They were also things that you took as a form of payment for work that you did. What, exactly, the man-power breakdown of a floppy disk was, I cannot recall. But, I can remember tutoring a class-mate or two a couple hours a week, in our computer class, for a few floppy disks every so often.
We had a pretty well established economy for our small computing community. And the disks have certainly held their value, over all these many years, at least for me. I have just about all of the same disks still in my collection and they are still being used today. To be frank, I'm quite amazed that these floppy disks have stood the test of time so well.
Even during my college years, the floppy disk currency carried over. They really paid off then, because, while in college, most of the money I had saved up went to basic living expenses (rent and food - and no, I didn't care for alcohol or other nasty habits you find on campuses). Yet, there was also a larger C64 user community at the college I went to. So, you can imagine, there was an even larger need for storage space and, therefore, floppy disks. This doesn't include the number of BBS hosts that I could call (locally) in the larger city. And, on most of these systems, they had programs and games available for downloading.
Although the majority of my floppy disks contain games, I do have a pretty large collection of GEOS wares, as well. I used GEOS quite extensively, while attending college. All of my papers and assignments were done on my 128 with GEOS. It really was a robust desktop OS for the time. There was quite a bit of third party applications written for it; a lot of them being published in the Loadstar disk-magazine. They all took up valuable floppy disk space.
While attending college, I did a lot of tutoring, for floppies. But I also did some art work, as I used to do quite a bit of pencil and ink drawing back then. It was a pretty easy and fun way to build up my floppy collection without having to spend my food money on them.
Ah, what interesting times those were.
Anyone ever remember having (what we called) “disk-co parties”? As in disk copying parties? It was just a fun thing we called getting together and making copies of all of the new disks any one in the group would have obtained, since the last diskco party, so we all had an up-to-date collection. They were usually done during the weekend and went pretty late into the night (depending on how many disks we had to copy).
It was just a way to get together and talk about computing, gaming or movies, or about what was happening around the school.
As Bill McNeal would have said, “good times; good times.”